Jakarta. Kereta Commuter Indonesia, or KCI, the operator of the Greater Jakarta commuter line train, is targeting 320 million passengers in 2018, a 9.5 percent increase from 315.8 million in 2017, after expanding its network and train capacity.
KCI, a subsidiary of state-owned train operator Kereta Api Indonesia, currently serves up to 1 million passengers every day and earns a Rp 2.7 trillion ($189 million) turnover every year.
According to KCI data, there has been a significant increase in the number of Greater Jakarta residents traveling on the commuter line in the past three years.
"There was an increase of 22.6 percent from 2014 to 2017, or an additional 58 million passengers," KCI president director Muhammad Nurul Fadhila said at a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday (04/01).
KCI said the increase was partly the result of extending its line from Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta to Rangkasbitung in Banten — a 72.7 kilometer stretch passing a total of 16 stations. The new extended route was opened in April 2017.
Major construction work on Jakarta's MRT and LRT lines and on a series of underpasses and overpasses at several busy intersections has also been exacerbating the capital's traffic problems and turned more people on to the commuter line train.
KCI plans to add more cars to its trains this year to meet the target of 320 million passengers.
"From the usual eight cars, we will soon have 12 cars on many of our trains," Fadhila said.
Fadhila said 26 commuter line trains will have 12 cars, 43 trains will have 10 cars and the remaining 22 trains will have eight cars.
But the expected increase in the number of passengers will also put a strain on the company's finances, since the government's subsidy now falls short of the required amount.
"We get Rp 1.29 trillion in subsidy this year, enough only for 295 million passengers," Fadhila said.
KCI has not mentioned any plans to pass on the cost to customers, saying only that the company and the Transportation Ministry will meet every quarter to allocate and evaluate the subsidy.